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Rewards

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Title: Rewards

 

Author:  washow

 

Rating:  G

 

Summary:  It has been said that all sacrifices have their rewards.  Will Elrond’s reward for his service to Middle Earth be what the elf lord needs most or will he be left unfilled?

 

Disclaimer:  I do not own Lord of the Rings nor am I making any profit from this story.  Any similarities to other fan fiction are purely coincidental.  I tried to remain as true to the books as I could but there may be a few discrepancies.  This is not slash but a tale of friendship and family love.

           

Beware:  This tale is very loosely based on the appendix of Return of the King.  If you are a strict book-verse only person do not read this story!!

 

 

 

Rewards

 

 

It was early morning and all the inhabitants of Valinor were still peacefully sleeping all that is except for one, Elrond hadn’t been able to sleep for days because of the deep melancholy he had found himself in since Legolas arrived on the last ship from Middle Earth with nobody but the dwarf at this side.  Yes, it had been foolish but part of him hoped to see his daughter and foster son walk off that ship but instead he had received the heart wrenching news that his children were dead or dying.  Legolas had told him how Aragorn had decided to be buried in the same manner as Boromir so had been laid to rest in a replica of the Lorien boat and was set a drift in the Anduin.  Elrond shut his eyes against the anguish as he recalled what Legolas had spoken of next, how Arwen was so consumed with her grief that she had run out into the river and climbed into the boat so she could die in her beloved’s arms.  While Elrond’s mind wandered the paths of the recent past his feet took him to the top of one of the many bluffs that overlooked the sea. When Elrond came out of his musings enough to be aware of his surroundings he bowed his head momentarily in memory of his children than he looked to the sky and shouted out his anger. “How could you?  How could you give them to me to love and cherish only to separate them from me for eternity?  What have I done to deserve this?  I did all you asked, I suffered so that Middle Earth would flourish, is this how I am to be repaid?” 

 

            When Elrond was finally able to gain control of his emotions he headed back toward the house where he knew his wife would be waiting.  He smiled as he thought of his beloved, Celebržan was his reason for living and the only being who knew the torment he suffered because of the loss of his children.  Everyday since Legolas had arrived without Aragorn and Arwen Elrond had wondered the woods and everyday Celebržan was waiting for him when he got back with a kind word and a cup of tea.  On his way home Elrond always went by the dock subconsciously hoping to see a ship sitting there with his two missing children on board.  He was about to head for home when he spotted an object floating offshore.  At first the object was too far away to discern what it was but as the elf lord watched the object was caught in a long shore current and brought close enough for him to see that it was a small boat.  As Elrond watched the boat drift along the shore suddenly an urge overcame him and he waded out and pulled the boat to shore.  When the boat was securely anchored on the sand Elrond turned to investigate his find and saw that there was a cargo covered with cloaks in the bottom of the boat. The elf lord got the shock of his life when he pulled back the cloaks because there before him were his two missing children.  Aragorn looked old and careworn by the rule of a kingdom and raising a family while Arwen remained the beautiful elf she had always been.  Elrond took a shuttering breath and dropped to his knees as angry tears flowed down his face.  He shouted to the sky, “Why?!  Why are you taunting me?  Why show me this now?”  Emotionally exhausted Elrond rested his head on the edge of the boat while overhead there was a bright flash of light.  Elrond was still crying out his despair when suddenly there was a gentle touch on his arm, “Ada why do you weep?”

 

            Elrond looked up and was astonished to find his daughter’s bright eyes gazing back at him.  He gently touched her face, “Arwen, my beautiful daughter is this truly you or is this only a figment of my imagination?”

 

            The former elf put her hand on top of Elrond’s and looked deep into his eyes,  “I’m real, this is no hallucination.”  Elrond blinked back his tears and pulled his daughter tight against him enjoying the sensation of being so close to a treasure he thought lost forever.  Finally a quiet question caused them to break the embrace, “Am I dreaming?”

 

            Elrond looked up and was astonished to see a young Estel, not the care worn Aragorn who had been there just moments before but the man as he had been before he started wandering Middle Earth, gazing back at him.  Elrond smiled at his daughter than made his way to the young man whose face he gently caressed before enveloping him in a tight embrace.  Elrond rested his head on top of Estel’s and replied, “No, my son this is no dream this is Paradise.”  Eventually father and son broke their embrace and all three reunited family members started toward the settlement.  As they walked the shock wore off and Aragorn asked the question which had been plaguing him since he woke, “How is this possible?  We should be dead ada not walking with you in Valinor.”

 

            Elrond was speechless at his son’s blunt statement and was trying to come up with an answer when suddenly a figure came out of the shadows, “It is a gift from the Valar young one, don’t question it just say thank you.”

 

            All three turned toward the voice and Aragorn and Arwen exclaimed, “Glorfindel!”  The ancient elf held his arms open and both of the young ones ran to him as they had when they were children.  Glorfindel held the pair snugly against his chest and cherished the presence of two he had helped raise and thought he would never see again.  He closed his eyes and allowed the tears to flow beneath his eyelashes and down his cheeks as he said a silent word of thanks for the return of Elrond’s children. 

 

When Glorfindel opened his eyes he saw his friend looking at him in astonishment.  Glorfindel raised an eyebrow and Elrond to mouthed a question to his friend, “What are you doing here?”

 

            Glorfindel smiled widely at his friend and mouthed back, “Watching over you.”  Glorfindel’s smile widened as he watched understanding settle on his friend’s face.  Elrond finally realized that he had never been as alone on those early morning wanderings as he thought because his oldest friend had once again been watching out for him and ready to lend a hand at the slightest indication of need.  The ancient elf held the embrace a moment longer than pulled back from his charges, “I do believe we should be getting home because there are many others who will be anxious to see you.”

 

            Estel’s head came up and he met the eyes of the golden haired elf lord, “others?”

 

            Elrond laughed at the naivety of his youngest son, “Yes Estel others, did you think Glorfindel and I were the only elves on Valinor?  Your brothers are here as is Legolas” than Elrond looked at his daughter, “and your mother.”

 

            The eyes of the two newcomers lit up with this information and they immediately began pulling the elf lords toward the settlement just as they each had done when they were young and anxious to get to a surprise.  When they finally reached the place where the Imladris elves dwelled, the children (as that was what they were thought of by the elf lords) were astonished to learn it was a perfect replica of the house they had both grown up in.  Elrond smiled at the two wide-eyed children, “Did you think I could live anywhere else?”  Just as the pair were about to retort a new voice joined the conversation from the far side of the house, “Ada is that you?  Mother was sending us to get you because breakfast is on the table”  The elf lords quickly gesturing for the young ones to stay put a moment then rounded the dwelling before the twins could ruin the surprise.  When the elf lords appeared Elrohir asked, “What took you so long?”

 

Elrond tried to maintain his impassive faÁade, “I found something interesting on the beach and needed Glorfindel to give me a hand bringing it home.”

 

            Elladan showed everyone present that some things never change, “You were delayed because of something you found on the beach!  Mother has been worried, ada!”

 

            Elrond just smiled at the protective nature of his oldest, “I think you may agree with me that this find was worth the delay and accompanying worry to your mother.”

 

            Elrond motioned for the two hiding around the side of the house to come out but before they had a chance Elladan was displaying his stubborn streak, “Ada I don’t think any drift wood is worth . . .” The elder twin stopped cold when he spied the two individuals who had just come around the corner.  While Elladan stood staring Elrohir quickly crossed the distance to his lost siblings and enveloped them both in a tight embrace.  Several moments later Elladan came out of his shock and ran to his siblings pulling the new comers into his own arms and crying his joy into their hair.  Finally Elrond felt the need to break up the reunion because his beloved was surely becoming more and more worried the longer they were away, “If you two are finished with your attempt to suffocate our discoveries I believe we should go to breakfast before Celebržan sends every elf in the hall to look for us.” The twins nodded and wrapped an arm around a lost sibling before happily following their father and mentor into the house.  At the entrance to the dining hall Elrond motioned for the children to wait in the passage a few moments while he and Glorfindel went in to set up the surprise.

 

            When Celebržan saw her beloved enter the hall she quickly crossed the distance  between them, “What took you so long?  I was getting worried.”

 

            Elrond smiled, “I found something we had thought lost and I have brought it back to you.”  Celebržan looked quizzically at Elrond to which he gave a non-committal shrug and gestured to the door which had just opened allowing Arwen, her brothers and husband to enter the hall.  Time stood still as mother and daughter studied each other than suddenly the spell was broken and they ran into each others arms where they cried out their joy.  Finally the pair separated and Elrond stepped forward and took his wife’s hand, “Now my dear I’d like to introduce you to your third son” Elrond gently turned his wife around and there before her was a young human with dark shoulder length hair and a smile that lit up the room.

 

            Celebržan stood mesmerized by this man who was able to help her family find hope, capture her daughter’s heart, and reunite the men of Middle Earth.  Estel however had control of his actions and quickly moved in front of her and bowed low, “My lady, it is a great honor to finally meet you.”

 

            The formal greeting broke Celebržan out of her reverie and she quickly pulled the young man into her arms.  It took only a moment for Estel to relax in this elf’s arms and soon they were happily embracing each other.  Finally Celebržan controlled her tears enough to mutter in the young one’s ear, “Mother you must address me as mother my child.”

 

            Estel smiled widely at his new found mother and embraced her again.  When they broke the second embrace Celebržan gestured to Arwen and the twins and soon she was happily surrounded by all of her children.  Elrond stood next to his old friend watching the reunion with a huge smile on his face which prompted Glorfindel to inquire, “Have you finally found happiness my friend?”

 

            Elrond beamed back, “Aye my friend, my heart is finally whole.”

 

            While the elf lords were conversing a robbed figure slowly moved out of the shadows and made his way to stand directly behind the half elf, “Tell me my friend was the sacrifice worth the reward?”

 

            Elrond and Glorfindel turned at the sudden intrusion and Glorfindel greeted the new comer, “Mithrandir, what a surprise.”

 

            The Istari bowed in greeting to the two elves, “I heard you had some unexpected guests and thought I would join in the fun.”  Than the wizard turned toward Elrond , “So I ask again was the sacrifice worth the reward?”  Elrond cocked an eyebrow at the wizard so Mithrandir elaborated, “My friend did you think all those challenges which were bestowed on you in Middle Earth would have no benefit to you in the end.  You and your family have sacrificed much for the survival of Middle Earth and IIķvatar thought this would be a just reward.  So once again my friend was it worth it?”

 

            Elrond stood gazing at his family and murmured, “Most definitely my friend, most definitely.”

 

            Mithrandir gave the elf a small shove forward, “Than go join them while you can because I have it on good authority that a wood elf, a dwarf, three hobbits and most of the population of Valinor are heading this way.”

 

            Elrond quickly crossed the distance to his family and joined in the happy group hug.  Soon the “guests” Mithrandir spoke of started to appear and led to a week long celebration of the arrival of two who were though to be dead.  After the festivities were finished Elrond Peredhil was left with the best gift of his long life, his entire family together for eternity.

 

 

The End